The Swift Current Broncos simply spent too much time in the penalty box and made too many defensive zone turnovers in a 6-2 loss to the Regina Pats Friday to even the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final at one game apiece. The Pats got goals from five different skaters and finished two-for-10 the power play to even the series at home, led by two goals from Austin Wagner.
Each team fired eight shots on goal in the first period as the Pats opened the scoring for a second straight game when Jonathan Smart tipped in a Dawson Davidson pass midway through the first period. Max Lajoie quickly tied the game on a point shot 3:01 later for his first goal of the post-season. Tyler Steenbergen gave the Broncos the lead at the 16:18 mark with a power play marker, his seventh goal of the playoffs to tie for the league lead and a 2-1 lead after one period.
Penalties and turnovers were the Broncos undoing in the second period when the Pats scored three unanswered goals. The Pats took advantage of some phantom calls with power play goals from Connor Hobbs and Nick Henry and then Wagner scored at even strength to give the Pats a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Robbie Holmes scored for the Pats 1:30 into the final frame to put the game out of reach. Wagner added an empty net goal to close the scoring.
Jordan Papirny made 34 saves to drop to drop to 5-4 in the post-season. Tyler Brown stopped 15 shots to improve to 5-0-0-1 in the playoffs.
The two teams will now have two days off before the series shifts to Swift Current for games three and four on Monday and Tuesday.